Minister of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism, Tshekedi Khama has reiterated the Government stance on poachers will be shot to die on the spot.Khama warned that those who come with intentions to commit wildlife crime such as poaching will be shot if they are a threat to security organs who have been deployed to protect wildlife species in the wild.
Khama stated during a press conference that was geared towards the unveiling of a giant elephant ivory sculpture slated for this week at the Sir Seretse Khama Airport. Khama stated that the sculpture, made out of elephant tusks, is meant to showcase the country efforts towards conservation of wildlife species.
Khama further stated that they are against the burning of stockpiled ivory like other countries, reiterating that it is likely to send a wrong message to the world that the country does not care about the conservation of elephants. He said that they will continue to explore alternative ways of utilizing the stockpiled elephant tusks like displaying them. Khama stressed the importance of keeping the ivory for future generations in an endeavor to teach the coming generations about the existence of elephants’ population in the country.
Khama also reiterated that there is no consorted effort among Southern African Development Community (SADC) member states in conservation of wildlife species such as elephants. He further lambasted Namibia for allowing an American hunter, Corey Knowlton, to shoot a black rhino. “ What message are we sending to the world. We do not have to send conflicting messages to the world about conservation of wildlife species where we show the world that we are not consistent in trying to protect this species,”added Khama.
Quizzed on whether Government has listed Knowlton as a prohibited immigrant after the black rhino shooting incident, he responded that his ministry was not responsible for declaring people as prohibited immigrants. He emphasized the need for political will among SADC member states wildlife conservation.